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New Mexico Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: New Mexico Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
Inside Carlsbad Caverns. (Scott Harms/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 01:38 PM

Sand dunes, caves and museums focusing on UFOs and Billy the Kid are among the fun attractions families on vacation or staycation can choose from when traveling to New Mexico.

Here are seven great places to visit in the state known as the "Land of Enchantment:"

1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park includes about 117 known underground limestone caves in southeast New Mexico. The park's show cave, Carlsbad Cavern, includes a natural limestone chamber nearly 4,000 feet tall area called "the Big Room," which is the fifth largest such chamber in North America and the 28th largest in the world. The park's offerings include a "junior ranger" program for children and an evening "bat flight program."

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2. White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico offers 275 square miles of white sand dunes, some towering 60 feet high. The park in some months offers special events such as sunset or full moon strolls, stargazing parties and craft-making programs for children. Families on vacation or staycation can even snowboard down the white sand.

3. Angel Fire Ski Resort located in Angel Fire offers plenty to explore for families on vacation or staycation. During the winter, visitors can go skiing, sledding and snowboarding. They also have a snow play and sledding area for small children. Summer activities include hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, river rafting, disc golf and an extensive Olympic Park playground.

4. The International UFO Museum is located in Roswell, southeast of where a UFO was purported to have crashed in 1947. The kitschy museum features exhibits related to the Roswell incident, its purported cover-up and other reported alien encounters around the world.

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5. The Fort Sumner-based Billy the Kid Museum explores the life of the famed Old West outlaw. The museum features 60,000 pieces, including personal articles that include the chaps, rifle and locks of the hair of Billy the Kid. Additional museum items include antique cars, wagons, buggies, a horse-drawn hearse and memorabilia from the military installation former known as Fort Sumner.

6. Chaco Canyon National Park, located in a remote area northwest of Albuquerque, is an amazing archaeological sites, perhaps one of the best in all of North America. Guided tours, hiking and biking trails, evening campfire talks and night sky programs are available to help families on vacation or staycation learn more about the canyon and how it was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 A.D.

7. Santa Fe Children's Museum in Santa Fe features more than 20 interchangeable exhibits. An exhibit called "The Bubbles" lets children make bubbles and watch them change colors, while the museum's construction materials section gives youngsters a chance to build cities using Legos and blocks. The museum schedules family performances with musicians, storytellers and puppets.

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Sand dunes, caves and museums focusing on UFOs and Billy the Kid are among the fun attractions families on vacation or staycation can choose from when traveling to New Mexico.
New Mexico Staycation, Family, Travel, Fun
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2015-38-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 01:38 PM
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